“We can no longer let people in power decide what hope is.” — Greta Thumberg

Ntandoyenkosinabadala Makhoba


Climate Change & Environment

Organisation / Company

You Plant


Ntandoyenkosinabadala Makhoba, 24, is the founder of You Plant, which partners with communities and institutions to teach people how to grow vegetables in reusable shopping bags using their kitchen scraps, which in turn helps raise awareness about waste management. Her job includes creating environmentally educational content and collaborating with schools to run workshops. Ntandoyenkosinabadala focuses on promoting sustainable living practices and empowering people to take control of their food production.

Additionally, she communicates environmental sustainability appropriately and raises awareness about the green economy and environmental concerns. She says her work enables people to spend less on vegetables and have access to nutritious food. Through You Plant she also spearheads an initiative that encourages residents to clean up their dump sites. This involves using the soil and vegetable scraps to make compost, which reduces the amount of waste in their community and creates a sustainable source of fertiliser for gardens.

She says representing the University of Johannesburg at the Humanitarian Affairs Asia Green Summit in Bangkok was a major accomplishment.


  • B Laws (completing), Unisa
  • BTech in Communication Management, University of Johannesburg
  • Risk and Socio Environmental Sustainability,University of Johannesburg
  • Certificate in Digital Marketing, University of the Witwatersrand


Beyond founding You Plant, one of my proudest achievements was representing the University of Johannesburg at the Humanitarian Affairs Asia Green Summit in Bangkok, alongside nine other UJ students studying towards different qualifications. During this summit, I had the opportunity to interact with students from around the world and explore the green economy and its implications for individuals and organisations. I was able to share my experience of South Africa’s environmental situation.

Through this summit, I learned various strategies and activities that I could implement when working with my community. Additionally, I was exposed to the amount of work required to educate regular South Africans who are not environmentally aware. I discovered that we need to tailor the sustainable development goals (and environmental efforts in communities and townships to our problems and cultures, instead of using general benchmarks set by international organisations.

These lessons have been invaluable to me as the founder of You Plant, a sustainability campaigner, and a sustainability communications consultant. I apply them in my work to promote sustainable living practices and empower individuals to take control of their own food production.


Refiloe Molefe and Vannessa Nakate are my role models. Refloe Molefe, also known as Mama Fifi, has been a significant source of inspiration for me. She works tirelessly to feed the underprivileged in her community by creating urban farms and teaching others how to grow their own food.

Mama Fifi’s dedication to sustainable living practices and empowering individuals to take control of their own food production has influenced my journey. Her work has shown me the power of community-driven initiatives and the effect that one person can have in their community. Mama Fifi’s commitment to making a positive change in her community has inspired me to continue promoting sustainable living practices and empowering individuals to take control of their own food production through my work with You Plant.

Vannessa Nakate is a Ugandan climate activist who has dedicated her life to raising awareness about the devastating effects of climate change on Africa and advocating for climate justice. What inspires me most about Vannessa is her unwavering commitment to fighting for a more sustainable future for all. Despite facing criticism and marginalisation as a young African woman in the climate movement, she has continued to speak out and demand action from world leaders. Her courage and determination have shown me that no matter how daunting the challenge may seem, it is possible to make a difference if we are willing to take action.